Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Captain's Corner

Captain's Corner: Right approach will help land larger red grouper

What's hot: Offshore fishing. Benthic and pelagic fish have cooperated the past few weeks. Red grouper (still legal to keep as long as they meet the 20-inch limit) have been feeding heavily in their usual summertime depths of 80 to 90 feet over flat, Swiss-cheese bottom. Numerous short grouper provide nearly nonstop action with the larger fish mixed in. Larger red grouper tend to inhabit the transitional area, where the bottom turns abruptly from sand to hard rock. This usually has a washed-out area slightly deeper than the adjacent rock. Paying close attention to the sonar and marking the edge and anchoring over it will usually result in larger fish. Gag grouper (closed until Sept. 16) have been mixed in with the reds in some spots and have provided exciting catch-photo-release action. White grunts, triggerfish, porgies and some mangrove snapper have fallen victim to the two-hook "chicken rig" with the 3-ounce sinker underneath. It has been necessary to use all types of bait, including frozen squid and sardines, live pinfish, sardines, squirrelfish and hardtails caught with sabiki rigs.

Other options: Spanish mackerel have been scarce offshore, with only scattered fish being caught using live bait or trolling spoons. A welcome surprise has been their larger cousins, kingfish. Using stinger-rigged flatlines with live sardines or hardtails caught while bottom fishing or using a frozen sardine, which will fall partially in the water column and remain suspended by the current, we have encountered kingfish from 10 pounds to the high 20s.

Dave Zalewski charters the Lucky Too out of Madeira Beach and can be reached at, or (727) 397-8815.

Captain's Corner: Right approach will help land larger red grouper 06/27/11 [Last modified: Monday, June 27, 2011 7:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays DFA Danny Farquhar to make room for Brad Boxberger


    The Rays continued shuffling their bullpen, dumping RHP Danny Farquhar after Wednesday's game to make room for RHP Brad Boxberger to be activated off the DL.

    Farquhar, who worked an inning in Wednesday's 6-2 loss, had a 2-2, 4.11 record for 37 appearances, working primarily in lower leverage situations. In …

  2. USF to face Indiana in men's basketball next season


    The USF men's basketball team will get an early test from a Big Ten powerhouse next season.

  3. Rays employee helps save suicidal woman near Pirates stadium


    A Rays front-office employee joined umpire John Tumpane in saving a woman threatening to jump from a bridge near PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon in Pittsburgh.

    Multimedia production manager Mike Weinman, 32, was walking across the Roberto Clemente Bridge with Rays broadcasting director Larry McCabe when he …

  4. Blake Snell struggles in return as Rays fall to Pirates

    The Heater


    Blake Snell talked a good game ahead of his return to the Rays rotation Wednesday night, but he didn't pitch one.

    The Pirates’ David Freese scores on a Blake Snell wild pitch during the first inning against the Rays.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Pirates game

    The Heater

    Corey Dickerson is doing everything he can to garner All-Star votes heading into tonight's voting cutoff, going into play Wednesday leading the AL with 101 hits and rapping two more his first two times up, and scoring two more runs.